Carrie Kahn

Film Review: Wonder Wheel

by Carrie Kahn on December 8, 2017

Allen’s newest far from Wonder-ful   

Lifeguard and wanna-be writer Mickey (Justin Timberlake) has an affair with the unhappily married Ginny (Kate Winslet).

Let’s first address the elephant in the room. Yes, Wonder Wheel, writer/director Woody Allen’s newest, is about a man who finds himself falling in love with his girlfriend’s step-daughter. I suspect there are many filmgoers who have made up their minds about Allen, and so either won’t see this particular film because of its uncomfortable parallels to his real life, or because, in agreement with his daughter Dylan Farrow’s recent essay, they don’t want to support the work of an accused sexual predator. If you fall in one of those categories, you need read no further, but for those of you who still remain curious and open to Allen’s art, there is another, more pedestrian reason to avoid this picture: it’s just not very good.
[read the whole post]

{ 0 comments }

Superb cast anchors McDonagh’s outstanding southern tale  

Grieving mother Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) expresses her frustration with her daughter’s stalled murder investigation via three billboards. 

“Raped while dying / And still no arrests / How come, Chief Willoughby?” So read the titular three billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri, in writer/director Martin McDonagh’s brilliant, searing new blackest of black comedies. Whether the picture is correctly classified as a comedy – as its trailer would have it – may be a point of argument, however. While the film is not without its head-shaking, laugh-out-loud moments, they serve as counterpoint to the overarching dark, almost biblical tale that envelopes them, which will leave the viewer contemplative and affected for days after the credits roll.
[read the whole post]

{ 0 comments }

Mediocre sequel deserves a lump of coal         

The Bad Moms (from l., Kathryn Hahn, Mila Kunis, and Kristen Bell) get into the Christmas spirit in one of the film’s 8,000 (oh, I mean five) montage sequences.

With A Bad Moms Christmas, writer/directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore try in vain to recapture the success of Bad Moms, their smart, funny, and truthful comedy from last year about overextended and overwhelmed modern day moms. They should have left well enough alone; not every picture needs a sequel or to be the start of a franchise. A Bad Moms Christmas is not nearly as funny as the original, and just feels like a painfully obvious and rather weak extension of the filmmakers’ initial idea. [read the whole post]

{ 0 comments }

Film Review: Suburbicon

by Carrie Kahn on October 27, 2017

Clooney emulates the Coens in adequate film noir      

Maggie (Julianne Moore) and her brother-in-law Gardner (Matt Damon) have an unwanted conversation with a visitor.

George Clooney is clearly a huge fan of the Coen Brothers. After starring in four of their films (Hail, Caesar!; Burn After Reading; O Brother, Where Art Thou; Intolerable Cruelty), he tries his hand at directing one of their screenplays with Suburbicon, marking his first return to the director’s chair since 2014’s The Monuments Men. The result is more successful than that mostly forgettable attempt, but his fan-boy energy permeates his new film almost to distraction. Tonally and stylistically, the picture is an unabashed imitation of a Coen Brothers production, which, if you’re a Coen Brothers fan, is super, but does mean that Clooney offers no cinematic originality here.
[read the whole post]

{ 0 comments }

Film Review: The Snowman

by Carrie Kahn on October 20, 2017

This Snowman will leave you cold       

Detective Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) searches for a killer, and we search for a good movie. Which of us will be successful?

Whenever a movie is based on a book, there are always those who will passionately argue that “the book was better.” Sometimes they’re right and sometimes they’re wrong, but, in the case of The Snowman, which opens today, I firmly believe the-book-is-better-crowd is correct, and I haven’t even read the book upon which the film is based. But, I have seen the movie, and, after watching it, I cannot possibly fathom that anything could be worse than this nonsensical, hastily thrown together, boring mess.
[read the whole post]

{ 1 comment }

Film Review: Marshall

by Carrie Kahn on October 13, 2017

A portrait of the justice as a young attorney      

NAACP lawyer Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman, l.) makes a point to the jury while defending his client.

You would be forgiven for assuming that a film that takes as its title the last name of its protagonist would be an all inclusive, sweeping biopic about that individual. But director Reginald Hudlin and the father/son writing team of Michael and Jacob Koskoff have something else in mind with their new picture Marshall. Though named for its central character, the film doesn’t chronicle the entire life of Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court justice; instead, it focuses on a single case that Marshall tried early in his career. As such, the film plays more like an episode of the Law & Order: True Crime series, and less like a dramatic biography. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is something to be aware of should you choose to see this well-crafted picture.
[read the whole post]

{ 0 comments }

Film Review: The Mountain Between Us

October 6, 2017
www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAMmyBATXzg”

Kate, Idris, and a dog battle the elements: Who will survive!?       I’ve always been a sucker for a good old fashioned, human-versus-the-elements survival story; 127 Hours is one of my all-time favorite films, and Everest, Into the Wild, and even Alive all captured my imagination and left me pondering the strength of my own […]

Read the full article →

Film Review: Battle of the Sexes

September 22, 2017
youtu.be/5AWP1K7FaFI

Stone and Carell serve up a winner in still timely ’70s tennis drama       Opening nearly 44 years to the day after the famous tennis match it’s named after, Battle of the Sexes chronicles the much publicized and widely watched (90 million viewers tuned in worldwide) 1973 match between then 29-year-old women’s champion […]

Read the full article →

Film Review: Brad’s Status

September 22, 2017
youtu.be/22w8T9K8iRU

A midlife crisis worth watching: Stiller shines in funny and poignant story   Ben Stiller, who can play middle-age angst like no one else (see While We’re Young, for example), is in fine form in writer/director Mike White’s new film Brad’s Status. Although the film’s premise about a soon-to-be-50 straight white man facing an existential […]

Read the full article →

Film Review: Home Again

September 8, 2017
youtu.be/y-oFOgFB2uM

Reese goes home again, but that doesn’t mean you have to     With Home Again, writer/director Hallie Meyers-Shyer’s debut feature, we see that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The daughter of filmmaker Nancy Meyers (The Intern; It’s Complicated; The Holiday; Something’s Got to Give), Meyers-Shyer here copies her mother’s patented feel-good […]

Read the full article →